Following Week of Saturday, September 16
The 2017 XC season is largely underway after a weekend during which the Pre-States meet was held at Wayne HS up near Lake Ontario. Though a few teams have already shown that they will be new forces to reckon with, the situation across all the classes is still very fuzzy. Many of the top teams either skipped the Pre-States meet, and quite a few have not run yet or have sent out partial squads. It's also difficult to take much insight into team strengths from a Pre-States meet that at least half the squads used as an exploratory leg stretcher, so except in the cases of a few teams that went to Wayne to run hard, we are not giving big attention to the results there for teams in the lower half of these rankings. For the slowly forming small-school teams especially, the early weeks of September are big unknowns.
There have been a number of meets besides Wayne Pre-States that have allowed teams to test the reins a bit during the last two weekends, with the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, Warwick Big Wave, and Somers Big Red on September 9 and Bob Pratt, Suffern, Regis-Villa Bears, and East Syracuse-Minoa meets headlining September 16. The three teams that were expected to be leading in Classes A, B, and D have put on big shows early on, but Class C is already seeing some tumult as a new favorite has blasted to the top. A slew of big meets this weekend will help to give better shape to all the teams' standings.
As always, the rankings are developed from the speed ratings produced by Bill Meylan of Tully Runners, but at this point we are still sitting partly on the expectations for teams based on probable returners from last year. Teams that have either not run yet or fielded partial squads have stayed reasonably close to where they were set in the preseason ratings except either where known injuries or big early season performances of other teams get factored in. It's an imperfect system in a fuzzy period of the season, but the runners will sort everything out for us in the coming weeks and the rankings will see a lot of movement.
Cheers on yet another rollicking season like no other.